Channels

UK Cabinet minister under fire over secret Israel meetings

LONDON – In the latest crisis for Britain's beleaguered government, the international development secretary cut short a trip to Africa on Wednesday amid demands she be fired over unauthorized meetings with Israeli politicians, including the prime minister.

 

Priti Patel was flying back to London after Prime Minister Theresa May ordered her to return to face a reprimand and possibly the sack. She had been due to attend events in Uganda.

 

Patel has been under pressure since it was revealed that she held 12 meetings with Israeli groups and officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a vacation in Israel in August -- and that she hadn't told May or colleagues about it.

 

Patel said the meetings stemmed from her "enthusiasm to engage," but critics accused her of breaching ministers' code of conduct and making a major diplomatic gaffe.